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The scale of silicosis

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young

Silicosis is a nasty disease you get from working in mines, and with South Africa being particularly reliant on mining, it’s a massive problem. The mines are meant to compensate mine workers afflicted by diseases contracted on the job, but despite a law was passed in 1996 compelling the mining companies to take on the mantle, not one mine worker has seen that mythical compensation. In July, a large class action lawsuit finally bore fruit, with a R5 billion payout… but for whom? This is the story of how the legal firms rely more and more on technology, including machine learning and OCR, to deal with massive amounts of information that would have buried them a few years ago. It’s also a pretty good bit of data journalism, with Mail & Guardian’s Jacques Coetzee popping his data storytelling cherry.

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery, Jason was one of the first South Africans to really grasp the importance of data in the newsroom and has remained one step ahead of the trends in the field all the way. Even Naked Data was conceived before email newsletters were cool again. But what does that tell you about the measure of the man? Nothing, that's what. He hides the superman CV behind a truly mild-mannered and overly modest persona and is best described as "one of the nicest guys in the business". When he's angry, it is righteously so, and his anger always wears velvet mittens. The true signs of his genius include the ability to create multilingual puns on demand (witness the alternative Naked Data strap "Putting the heita in to data") and the fact that he offered me a job. (AO)

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